Saturday, November 28, 2009

Never Too Old For Santa!

We were at Yorkdale Mall tonight to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday and while we were waiting for our reservation to come up at Casey's, we decided to put the kids in line for Santa.

Garrett & Mason were spooling each other up the whole time we were at the mall and waiting in line for Santa didn't help matters. They actually had Santa's "elves" come over and tell them to stop being so disruptive because they were going to end up destroying one of the decorations if they didn't stop.

Then something truly odd happened.

An older woman outside of the cordoned-off line started yelling, "Sam! You're too old! You're too old to see Santa. Come back!"

We didn't pay much attention but she kept saying this over and over. Then we looked back and saw the line starting to part. A HUGE guy was basically pushing his way through the line of parents and kids while lugging this oversized piece of luggage behind him. He kept saying, "No! I'm going to see Santa! I'm going to see Santa!"

I moved the kids out of his path so they wouldn't get squished (seriously, this guy was BIG) and couldn't help but shake my head and smile as the lady continued to try to get his attention and stop his trip to Santa's lap.

The family in front of me let him past (like they were going to stop him) but the dad started to grumble. I just shot him a look and shook my head and watched to see what would happen when the guy got to Santa. I have to say that I was impressed by how well Santa and his 'elves' handled the situation. Santa said a few things to the dude, shook his hand and gave him a candy cane and sent him on his way with a wink and a nod and never broke character.

Crisis averted. That said, the lady (who might have been his mother or a support staff) should have probably tried to do something a little more effective than stand outside the rope and shout at the guy. While he wasn't doing anything that bad (at least from where I was standing) he was a HUGE guy and all it would have taken was one overly offended parent to pop his top and things could have gotten ugly.

Ah well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why We Play

This is an interesting article about why people play certain types of games.

It turns out there are two different ways people respond to challenges. Some people see them as opportunities to perform - to demonstrate their talent or intellect. Others see them as opportunities to master - to improve their skill or knowledge.

Say you take a person with a performance orientation ("Paul") and a person with a mastery orientation ("Matt"). Give them each an easy puzzle, and they will both do well. Paul will complete it quickly and smile proudly at how well he performed. Matt will complete it quickly and be satisfied that he has mastered the skill involved.

Now give them each a difficult puzzle. Paul will jump in gamely, but it will soon become clear he cannot overcome it as impressively as he did the last one. The opportunity to show off has disappeared, and Paul will lose interest and give up. Matt, on the other hand, when stymied, will push harder. His early failure means there's still something to be learned here, and he will persevere until he does so and solves the puzzle.

I'm definately squarely in the mastery challenge camp, though I do like to dabble with the performance oriented stuff every so often.

Where's Daniel When You Need Him?

We've been working through the book of Daniel at church over the past few weeks and I had a dream the other night that I'd like him to interpret.

We were in the maternity ward at the hospital and Julie just finished giving birth to twins. Only they were part Roadrunner (from the cartoon). I mean, they looked like human babies but they had blue feathers on them and for whatever reason, I KNEW they were part Roadrunner. I don't think they said, "Beep beep" or anything, but dads can tell these kind of things.

What on earth does that dream mean? I think it means that I'm working too much and not getting enough sleep. Or that Julie is having an affair with a cartoon character.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bad Idea?

They might ban cell phones when driving, but they can't ban this... can they?

Check out the customer review images :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanks For The Heads-Up

That's what we got from our sitter in Georgetown tonight. As of today, she can't look after our kids anymore. Sigh.

Thankfully we have a sitter who looks after Garrett on school days and she's been angling to look after Kara for some time now, so it was mainly just a matter of time before we switched. It seems that the other kids who were being looked after by our Georgetown sitter aren't being looked after by her any more and with only Garret & Kara as sources of income, well, it's not what one would call a steady income.

Oh well. As Julie said, this basically forced the decision for us. Garrett wasn't enjoying going to her house anymore as he was the only kid his age there and was bored stiff. And this means we don't have to drive 20 minutes out of the way to pick up the kids anymore. Woo!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

Here are a few of the pictures I promised from the past few weeks. Enjoy!

Garrett is Dash Incredible and Kara is Agent D, the secret agent dolphin.

Boogity Boogity BOO!

She's up to mischief. I know she is...

We got Kara to sleep in her big girl bed last Saturday and she's been crib-free ever since. Woo!

This Pisseth Me Off

I don't know what else to say. And people say I waste my time and energy blathering on about videogames...

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's The Army Life For Me

Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks

Had to share that. I actually HAVEN'T picked Modern Warfare 2 up and will probably just rent the PS3 version and play the single-player mode. I have no urge to play the Multiplayer component...

Auntie Faith To The Rescue!

I just wanted to say -

to Faith for coming to my rescue today. I was informed late last night that my presence was more or less expected at a meeting this morning and that if I didn't make it, well, let's just say it was better that I attended :)

Faith came through and was able to keep the kids from destroying her house for a couple of hours this morning. You rock!

Very Tech Supportive!

Sorry for the lack of updates this week. I've been absolutely swamped at work and when I've had some free time, I've been glued to my new computer. It's sooooo nice :)

I was able to fix the issues with my audio jacks. All it took was uninstalling the Realtek audio drivers and reinstalling everything and lo and behold, I have audio jacks that don't kill the computer when I plug things into them!


Now that I know I'll be able to use my computer without dragging it back to the store, I'll start pulling pictures off the camera and sharing them with the world.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's Mostly The Fireballs

Well, isn't THIS a timely comic from our good friends over at

Busy Night

Last night was a bit of a whirlwind. Garrett went over to his friend Tommy's house for his very first sleepover and seems to have survived it intact. We took the opportunity to have Kara sleep in her big girl bed (aka the toddler bed) and that went more or less splendidly. I'm not saying she stayed in bed the whole night or anything, but we're one step closer to getting her out of the crib.

I was able to finish off Brutal Legend on the Xbox 360 last night. I loved the worldcraft and storytelling that went into the game and it has made me at least appreciate what good heavy metal music sounds like (to the point that I can't get Dragonforce's Through The Fire And The Flames out of my head) but it really could have done without the real-time-strategyesque stage battle missions, though I'm not sure how they could have pulled those battles off otherwise. Good game that was definately worth the $10 I spent to rent it but I might have been miffed if I dropped $70 on it.

And I got my new computer last night too. It's still in the box and awaiting a thorough decontamination of the PC enclosure under the desk (and a bit of wire detangling) but I plan to spend at least the morning or early afternoon working on getting it set up so I can spend this evening in its thrall. They had the unit in the store open yesterday and it was a thing of beauty to look at its innards.

Castoreum. YUM!

Good Saturday Morning to ye! I figured today would be a great time to share this list of ingredients that may or may not be in your favourite food. I'm definately keeping an eye out for castoreum from now on... it's beaver anal gland.

I'm perfectly fine with the bug parts in my candy, but not beaver butts. And who knew that sand was a main ingredient of Wendy's chili... well, you do now!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

T-t-t-trick Or T-t-t-treat

Last night was probably the coldest Hallowe'en we've had since the kids started trick-or-treating. Garrett and Kara did the parking lot in front of our house before Garrett wussed out and went home to hand out candy with Julie for most of the rest of the evening. He seemed to be much more excited to be the guy checking out costumes and doling out candy than actually receiving any.

Kara, on the other hand, was a real trooper and the cutest little dolphin around. We did all of the houses in the townhouse complex and a few across the road before her resolve faltered. By that point, she had two full bags of candy to Garrett's 8 pieces of candy, so I dragged him back out into the blustery night air in order to avoid a catastrophe later on when they started comparing hauls.

There was a guy dressed as a Thriller-era Michael Jackson at one house and Kara was petrified of him. I think that was the only part of the evening that scared her. Everyone loved her dolphin costume and she was quite the polite little lady with all of her "Tick or teats" and "Tank yoooou"s. Garrett, on the other hand, didn't wear the mask I picked up for him downtown, which really churned my butter. But he had a good time and ate lots of candy so that's all that really matters.

I'll post some pictures tonight when I get home. We're still suffering from a distinct lack of desktop computer at the moment and that's hampered some of my usual image dumps. But fear not, for spooky pictures shall abound this evening!